Commemorating Llywelyn


By Jill Evans MEP and President of Plaid Cymru.

This weekend, December 10th and 11th, we will be commemorating Llywelyn ap Gruffydd at the village of Cefn-y-Bedd on the outskirts of Builth Wells. Llywelyn (Ein Llyw Olaf, Our Last Leader), the last Prince of Wales was killed on December 11th 1282.

Llywelyn’s uncle, Dafydd ap Llywelyn (the son of Llywelyn the Great) died in 1246 without leaving an obvious heir. Llewelyn won the resulting power struggle with his brothers Owain and Dafydd, and became a constant thorn in the side of England’s King Henry III – Llywelyn wanted to extend his lands while Henry had plans to increase his influence in Wales.

In 1276, with King Edward I now on the throne, Llywelyn was declared a rebel and the English King gathered an enormous army to march against him.

In the summer of 1277 Edward captured Anglesey, which deprived Llywelyn and his army of food, and thus forcing them to negotiate a truce.

Under the resulting Treaty of Aberconwy, Llywelyn was forced to accept the English King Edward I as his sovereign, but five years later the Welsh rebelled against the exactions of the royal officials. Llywelyn’s brother Dafydd attacked the English at Hawarden castle and laid siege to Rhuddlan. The rebellion spread when Aberystwyth castle was captured and burned to the ground, before Carreg Cennen castle was also captured. Llywelyn went to the support of his brother, and attempts at mediation by the Archbishop of Canterbury failed. 

Llywelyn headed south to gather support, and left Dafydd to defend Gwynedd. During the Battle of Orewin Bridge at Builth Wells, Llywelyn was killed while separated from his army.

There are different versions of his death but it is clear that he was separated from the rest of his army, and was surrounded and killed, in a wood in Aberedw.

Edward sent Llywelyn’s severed head to London where it was displayed with a crown of ivy. It was placed over the gate at the Tower of London. Llywelyn's body is believed to have been laid to rest at Abbey Cwmhir.

Cilmeri  – Saturday 10th December 2011

Come and join with me in commemorating the last Prince of Wales, “Llywelyn, Ein Llyw Olaf.”

10:30am: Meet outside the Prince Llywelyn Inn then travel in a motorcade to Llanynys Church for a Llywelyn memorial service (11.15) including the Mass and elegies to him.

12:30pm: Return to the Prince Llywelyn Inn for lunch.

2:30pm: Parade and rally at the Memorial Stone. Patriotic addresses. Laying of wreaths.

5:00pm: Entertainment in the Prince Llywelyn Inn.

Speakers include Plaid President, Jill Evans MEP, Jonathan Edwards MP and Roger Williams MP (Brecon and Radnor).

Wear ivy and remember to wear warm clothes and wellingtons!